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July 22, 2014

Cloud absolutely ‘critical to business strategy’ for SMBs

Survey says early adopters are already reaping the monetary rewards.

By Ben Sullivan

Cloud technology will be critical to SMBs within the next two years. That is the finding of a fresh-off-the-press survey by Oxford Economics that collected data from 350 senior IT pros in 2014.

The survey was sponsored by cloud communication upstarts Windstream, so the results should be taken with a smattering of salt, but the results do indicate the increasing reliance and business importance of cloud technology and cloud adoption for SMBs.

Over half of the respondents said that cloud will be critical to their business innovation strategy within two years, with 57% saying cloud will enable their company to expand into new geographic regions.

Two-thirds of the IT pros who underwent examination said that cloud will support their innovation and customer service within two years, with 88% of the larger companies saying that cloud will drive business unit collaboration.

However, as always, there were some security issues. 76% of pollsters said that security was the main concern when regarding migrating to the cloud. Not surprisingly, healthcare firms were the most concerned about security and privacy.

Edward Cone, managing editor and senior analyst for thought leadership at Oxford Economics, said: "The survey findings illustrate a compelling snapshot of the cloud environment today. The conclusions drawn in this report provide vital information to anyone interested in cloud computing."

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The survey data has been interactively visualised in this Path to Value infographic.

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